The weekend of Saturday 18th and Sunday 19th saw JKS Karateka from England and Wales gather in York for two separate courses co-hosted by Haxby, Selby and York Shotokan Karate clubs.
Saturday was a special course led by Head of JKS England Alan Campbell Sensei 6th Dan. It was held to specifically focus on on the JKS Nidan and Sandan syllabuses. The day was split into two sessions and proved to be a challenging but highly informative and rewarding course. Aimed at both students and instructors, the course saw a mix of karateka attend, largely with grading preparation in mind.
Enpi and Junro Nidan were the katas covered first in detail. Students were all the while encouraged to ask questions about technical aspects of the kata and kihon beforehand which Alan Sensei answered, always trying to expand on to enable the students to identify with the deeper meaning. Bassai-Dai, Jitte, Hangetsu and Junro Sandan were also given plenty of time and Alan Sensei was keen for everyone to appreciate the need to practice all kata to benefit from the differences they offer. All students left with a good amount to work on but having had the opportunity to appreciate the grading requirements the course was most definitely a success and was delivered in an atmosphere to get the best out of the dan grades present.
The Sunday course was again led by Alan Campbell Sensei who was also joined by Steve Carless Sensei 6th Dan. The day started with Alan Sensei leading the Higher age novice grades and Steve Sensei covering lower age group novice grades. Both sessions covering the fundamentals of shotokan karate and preparing students for their kyu examinations which were conducted following their respective courses.
Later in the day black and 1st kyu brown belts arrived. While Steve Sensei covered Heian Kata in detail with the lower kyu grades, the brown belts were treated to a special kumite session by Alan Sensei. The whole class was predominantly focussed on footwork. Combinations were first practised individually and then with partners before everyone being put into groups of eight with one student at the front countering the various combinations of attacks from everyone in the line, one after another. This was a very high energy class.
After a short break Alan Sensei was on examiner duties with the higher Kyu grades so the higher grades were left with Steve Sensei taking over the class. The first part covered Jiyu-Ippon Kumite which was practised and then demonstrated with a focus on every attack, both offensive and defensive with key points made. Steve Sensei then moves onto Kata covering Meikyo and Hyakuhachiho in detail.
It was a long two days of training but very fruitful with many points for participants to take away to improve their karate.
A dan grading followed the course and congratulations to those who were successful:
Frances Dook -York Shotokan Karate Club
Benjamin Fisk -Leeds Karate Academy
Calum Forrest -Can Do Martial Arts
Chris Forrest -Can Do Martial Arts
Georjeana Harrison -Leeds Karate Academy
Lukasz Kisala -Leeds Karate Academy
Brenda Mitchell -Haxby Karate Club
Eden Nicholson -Kaizen No-Michi
Nathan Preece -JKS Brecon
Alisha Romagnuolo -Kaizen No-Michi
Aimee Smith -Kensho Karate Club
Luke Stringer -Kaizen No-Michi